Riding Bend’s Ale Trail

The most perilous–and satisfying–ride in town

Little known fact: Bend has more breweries per-capita than any other city in Oregon. For this it has been dubbed “Beer Town USA.” With this title comes a duty to motivate its visitors to drink beer. Enter The Ale Trail. A ride (you can also be shuttled around in a van) that takes you between 14 different local breweries clustered close together, “like the gold at the end of a big, beer rainbow,” reads the Visit Bend Website.

PHOTO: Keith Carlsen
PHOTO: Keith Carlsen

As a participant of the Ale Trail tour, you pick up a passport and collect stamps as you go from brewery to brewery. Or if you have a clean bald head like Mike Ferrentino (see photos below) you can just get your head stamped. With 10 stamps on your passport, you win a prize: a commemorative Bend Silipint. With 14 stamps you also get a Bend Ale Trail bottle opener. But let’s be honest, the real prize is a several hours of beer-induced, bar-hopping, townie bike-riding good times with your friends.

Your ticket to ride. PHOTO: Keith Carlsen
Your ticket to ride. PHOTO: Keith Carlsen

Between bike testing and shooting Roundtable Reels, we squeezed in about three hours of suds touring via cruisers with our friends from Crow’s Feet Commons bike shop. I’ll stop the words now and let the photos tell the story. Needless to say, at our pace, it would’ve taken days to complete the tour. We’re sure you can do better. We look forward to hearing your stories. And yes, there’s an app for this.

PHOTOS BY KEITH CARLSEN

Our first stop was at Boneyard Brewery, where Mike Ferrentino took our passport stamp on his head. Search the hashtag, the stamps have landed in much more scandalous places than this.
Our first stop was at Boneyard Beer, where Mike Ferrentino took our passport stamp on his head. Search the hashtag, the stamps have landed in much more scandalous places than this.
Boneyard Beer is named after the 10-year effort it made to collect used brewing equipment from around the country for 10 years before it opened.
Boneyard Beer is named after the 10-year effort it made to collect used brewing equipment from around the country before it opened.
Dresscode.
Dresscode.
Wheelies are better with a beer buzz. Mike Ferrentino and Simon Stewart mid Ale Trail.
Wheelies are better with a beer buzz. Mike Ferrentino and Simon Stewart mid Ale Trail.
Stop 2 was at Crux Brewery where we met rad dudes with semi-matching hats.
Stop 2 was at Crux Brewery where we met rad dudes with semi-matching hats.
Next to Crux we found the best street tacos we'd ever tasted. Zero exaggeration.
Next to Crux we found the best street tacos we’d ever tasted. Zero exaggeration.
Stop #3 at Goodlife Brewing.
Stop #3 at Goodlife Brewing.
GoodLife getting better.
GoodLife getting better.
Tap, tap, tappy.
Tap, tap, tappy.
And another stamp on the noggin'. Mike Ferrentino with Simon Steward and Troy from Crow's Feet.
And another stamp on the noggin’. Mike Ferrentino with Simon Stewart and Troy from Crow’s Feet.
It's a bike affair, really.
It’s a bike affair, really.
Don't forget to bring your bike lights for after sunset.
Don’t forget to bring your bike lights for after sunset.
You've been warned. Go forward, drink, and conquer.
You’ve been warned. Go forward, drink, and conquer.

14 Breweries on the tour:
10 Barrel Brewing Co.
Bend Brewing Co.
Boneyard Beer
Brew Werks Brewing
Cascade Lakes Brewing Co.
Crux Fermentation Project
Deschutes Brewery
GoodLife Brewing
McMenamins Old St. Francis
Rat Hole Brewing
Riverbend Brewing Company
Silver Moon Brewing
Three Creeks Brewing Company
Worthy Brewing

Special thanks to Crow’s Feet Commons bike shop for the cruiser bikes that made this ride possible.